Being a student online sounds like it would be the least stressful way to go to school. In many ways, it is. However, while online classes offer undeniable flexibility; outside of the time saved by having no commute, they still tend to take just as much time as traditional classes. Yet, there tends to be this idea that we have “so much more time on our hands” when we take classes online instead of in a classroom.
According to a report on stress and mental health in the workplace published by the CDC in 2018, 71 percent of U.S. adults reported having at least one symptom of stress such as a headache, feelings of “being overwhelmed”, and/or feeling anxious.
Often, people who pick the online route for going to school do so in order to still be able to work and/or maintain family responsibilities simultaneously. Therefore, it seems likely that the stress of online school is just as (if not more) intense than a more traditional school setting.
Considering that, over time, chronic stress can lead to all kinds of life-threatening conditions—the need to manage this stress is vital. Check out these five ways to manage the stress as an online student:
1) Find Ways to Relax
Whether it’s a morning yoga routine, regular nature walks, or having coffee with a friend; it’s important to make time to unwind. Finding natural relief to control symptoms of stress and anxiety can also be beneficial.
For example, checking out The CBD Insider to find the best CBD product for what ails us can be greatly beneficial in helping us relax. According to Dr. Peter Grinspoon, who wrote an article for Harvard Health Publishing last year, cannabidiol (CBD) has shown evidence of being effective in treating anxiety and insomnia. Both conditions being treated can aid in overall relaxation and productivity.
2) Get Certified Online
Regardless of the type of job we are studying for, getting CPR certification online can only be an advantage for our resume. For those studying for degrees in medical fields, CPR Care not only offers online CPR certification, but they also offer other online courses relevant to the health care industry. Some classes include first aid certification, bloodborne pathogens, and AED certification. Plus, four of these courses are equivalent to the American Heart Association (AHA)’s BLS class.
3) Take Care of Our Health
While it can be tempting to sacrifice things like sleep, exercise, and eating right in exchange for more time to study; in the long-run, this will only be our down-fall as it can lead to more health problems, lack of concentration, and more difficulty keeping our grades up.
Actually, according to the CDC, everyone over 18 should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Not making sleep a priority can lead to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and poor mental health.
Bonus tip: Consider trying CBD products to aid in sleep. According to Harvard Health Publishing, studies suggest that CBD can help with getting to sleep and staying asleep.
4) Practice Good Time Management
One of the biggest benefits of online classes is that they tend to allow us to work at our own pace. However, this has the downside of giving us the illusion that we have “all of this time” to complete our work. The reality is that the time it takes to study the course material is roughly the same for an online class as it would be for a live class.
Planning ahead, making schedules, and prioritizing tasks can all aid in getting our work done and reducing stress. The general rule is to dedicate two to three hours of study time for every hour spent in class. For online classes, it’s probably best to dedicate three hours per day to studying for every five credits we’re taking in order to be adequately prepared for the final test.
5) Stay Social
Going to school online has the potential to make us feel (or literally be) isolated. When we’re stressed out about school we tend to think of socializing as a mere distraction. But, according to Dr. Angela K. Troyer (a certified Psychologist), who wrote an article in Psychology Today in 2016, socializing can be beneficial for our physical and mental health.
While taking classes online, we need to make sure we’re not becoming a social recluse who does nothing but study. Dr. Troyer lists the benefits of socializing including living longer, a stronger immune system, reduced risk of depression, better moods, and better brain health (that can only help our test scores, right? *wink, wink*).